Monuments and Colonialism

Janne Lahti Discussion
September 8, 2022
Arizona, Finland
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, World History / Studies, European History / Studies


Sept. 8 at 5PM (Finnish time)

What place do colonial statues occupy within conceptions of Europe’s cultural heritage? Our panel discusses how statues became a central focus point of activism and why this is appearing across Europe and globally right now? What type of colonial heritages do specific monuments commemorate, what narratives they convey and hide, and how/why are some of them contested, while others are not?


Janne Lahti (University of Helsinki)

What “Must Fall”?: Monuments vs Historical memory
Dr.  Hephzibah Israel (University of Edinburgh)

Are all colonial statues the same? Reflections on a sentence by Frantz Fanon
Prof. Bertrand Tillier (University of Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) 

Panelists: Hephzibah Israel, Bertrand Tillier, Karin Pallaver (University of Bologna)
Moderators: Janne Lahti and Josephine Hoegaerts (University of Helsinki)

Join us at Tiedekulma (Yliopistonkatu 4), University of Helsinki
or online here:


Hephzibah Israel is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include translation and religion, translation and history, postcolonial studies, literary and translation practices in South Asia. She authored Religious Transactions in Colonial South India: Language, Translation and the Making of Protestant Identity (2011) and has edited the Routledge Handbook of Translation and Religion (forthcoming). She has guest edited (with Matthias Frenz) a special issue on ‘Religion and Translation’ (2019) for the journal Religion; a special section on Indian traditions of life-writing on religious conversion (2018) for the journal South Asia (with John Zavos) and a special issue entitled ‘Translation in India: Multilingual practices and cultural histories of texts’ (2021) for Translation Studies. She is currently on the steering committee of IASH's ‘Decoloniality Project’ and is Director of Impact and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

Bertrand Tillier is art historian and professor of contemporary history at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne, where he co-directs the Centre d'histoire du XIXe siècle. His next book (The Disgrace of the statues, Essay on conflicts of memory from the French Revolution to Black Lives Matter) will be published in October 2022 by Payot (Paris).

Karin Pallaver is Associate Professor of African History at the Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, where she teaches African History and Indian Ocean History. She is member of the executive committee of the African Economic History Network (AEHN). She was previously employed at the British Museum as researcher in the Coins and Medals Department. Her research interests lie in the social and economic history of 19th-century and early colonial East Africa. Major themes linked to her research are pre-colonial African trade, pre-colonial and colonial currencies, 19th-century urbanism, German and British colonialism in East Africa and labour history. In recent years, her main research interest has been the history of money and currency in East Africa, with a special focus on the colonial period. On this topic, she has recently edited the volume Monetary Transitions. Currencies, Colonialism and African Societies (Palgrave Macmillan: 2022).

Contact Info: 

Dr. Janne Lahti, University of Helsinki

Contact Email: